A SINGER and drag artist from Harrow with "the shock factor" impressed the judges on hit TV show The X Factor and gained a legion of fans.
Johnny Robinson received a standing ovation from the audience for his rendition of Etta James' 'At Last' that belied his tracksuit and baseball cap outfit.
It has emerged the 45-year-old worked as a drag performer under the stage name 'Sara Lee' at the Kitsch Cabaret Night and at Trannyshack nights at Madame JoJo's, a cabaret and nightclub in Soho.
But it was in his regular guise that the unemployed singleton wowed a viewing public of more than 12million when the primetime show aired on Saturday evening as part of its eighth season.
Once the applause had died down, judge Louis Walsh told Johnny: "I wasn't expecting anything close to that. You have a very unique act."
Fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos, of hip hop act N-Dubz, said: "You have got the shock factor."
Colleague and former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland added: "You are sugary, lovely, delicious, and I really enjoyed myself. Congratulations."
The fourth judge, Take That singer Gary Barlow, said: "I thought that was an amazing audition. You have got a fabulous personality."
In a clip of an interview filmed while Johnny was waiting in the queue for his audition at The O2 arena in Greenwich, south-east London, in the summer, the singer said he lived in a bedsit in Harrow.
He said: "My dream would be to make an album and I'd like to be taken seriously as a singer.
"I've got nothing to lose. This could be my last chance."
Betting chain Ladbrokes, whose head office is in Imperial Drive, South Harrow, is offering odds of 50-1 for Johnny to win the show. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people have joined unofficial Johnny fan groups on social networking site Facebook including one proclaiming him "an X Factor legend" and another suggesting the moniker JoRo as a nod to previous Britain's Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle who was nicknamed 'SuBo'.
Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donohue said: "Despite wowing crowds at the audition, we don't think Johnny has a huge chance.
"Having said that as a local man we're rooting for him and wish him all the best."
Walt Utz, from Madame JoJo's, said: "We hope that he does well and wish him all the best. He is a very nice person."
n Do you know Johnny or want to support him? Call chief reporter Ian Proctor on 07795 811230.